Kent Makes 'Miracle' Recovery

Everyone knew that Jeff Kent was a warrior but Joe Torre was much more than surprised when they were able to activate the second baseman off the disabled list less than three weeks after the 40-year-old underwent potentially season- and career-ending knee surgery. Torre called it "unheard of" but it borders on a miracle.

? Kent is unable to run without pain, so he will be strictly limited to pinch-hitting duties and will be removed for a pinch-runner when he reaches base but it does get his big bat back into the mix.

However, Torre is unsure if Kent would be put on the playoff roster if the Dodgers make the post-season. It seems unlikely, unless Kent is able to run the bases and play second base, because the playoff roster is limited to 25 players.

"We talked Saturday, and he asked me what I had envisioned for him," Torre said. "I said, `Realistically, just get ready to pinch-hit.' That's why we're activating him. This is amazing. Somebody 40 years old has surgery and two and a half weeks later, he's back on the active list. That's unheard of."

For now, at least, Kent has the potential to be a late-inning RBI threat. He's hitting .275 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIs in 117 games. Kent has four at-bats as a pinch-hitter this season, with one hit.

Blake DeWitt remains the everyday second baseman.

Penny 'Out of the Mix' Brad Penny has had a pair chances to show that his sore right shoulder has improved and neither of them were satisfactory. Now it doesn't seem that he will get a third chance.

It all likelyhood, it will shut him down for the rest of the season but there is one more chance to get him back in action.

"We're going to try something different. The doctor is going to give him an injection to see if that relieves that last bit of pain," trainer Stan Conte said. "Then he will throw and see where he's at. It will be a cortisone shot in the AC joint above his shoulder which we think is causing his problem. It's really a day-to-day situation."

It is too early to tell how all of this will affect the club's decision whether to exercise Penny's contract option ($9.25 million).

Kuo Marking Time
On the left-handed side of the pitching department, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo had an MRI on his ailing left elbow and all signs were positive. There was no structural damage, but Torre still plans on proceeding with caution.

"We're probably going to stay away from him this weekend," Torre said. "And with the off-day Monday, hopefully by Tuesday we can crank it up."?